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Violence and formal challenge in the plays of Sarah Kane and Martin Crimp
Strnadová, Klára ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee) ; Wallace, Clare (advisor)
Both Crimp and Kane are genuine innovators of the dramatic form. The issues dealt with in their works are related; they share similar concerns about the dangers of nowadays' society - and, with it, theatre. This might not be apparent at first sight because of the divergence of styles. Crimp's style is language-centred, hyper-realistic at times, drawing a lot from the theatre of the absurd. He provides a characteristic mixture of satirical edge, ironic detachment and hidden threat. While Crimp works exclusively with the contemporary sensibility, Kane's proximity to the tradition of tragedy can be seen in what she employs in her plays - the big passions, "love, hate, death, revenge, suicide."1 Kane differs from both modernists and postmodernists by her refusal of detachment and by her requirement of emotional involvement. Both the playwright and her characters are absolutist, truth-seeking and provocative. Crimp prevents emotional identification even in the plays that at first sight seem realistic; in the experimental dramas, the distancing device of having stories narrated rather than just shown "allows Crimp to mix acerbic satire with rapid shifts of tone and focus,"2 asking intellectual questions in a convincingly dramatic form. The intense emotional content, which in Kane is delivered by the explicit,...
(Post)Modern Inferno: Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman between modern and medieval netherworlds
Ruczaj, Maciej ; Pilný, Ondřej (advisor) ; Armand, Louis (referee)
I have discussed earlier Noman's hallucinatory experience of "woodenness" spreading across his whole body - "a dry timber poison killing me" (119). It provides another stage in the consistently allegorical construction of the motif. Noman's moment of enlightenment, the possibility of the discovery of an allegorical meaning, is of course immediately distorted by the fact that Noman is already dead and - if his dwelling-place is hell - there is no possibility of further degradation, he is all "wood" by now. "Woodenness" he correctly associates with death, yet as always he misses the point as it is primarily a "spiritual" death that is signalized here.
Troubles on stage: theatrical representation of the conflict in Northern Ireland
Kristenová, Lenka ; Pilný, Ondřej (advisor) ; Wallace, Clare (referee)
The objective of this thesis was to provide a detailed analysis of three modern Irish plays which share one common feature - the portrayal of the conflict in Northern Ireland. Apart from the common background of the Troubles, the plays focus on different aspects of the conflict which also demands different theatrical design. Furthermore, each play was analysed from three social perspectives - religion, gender and locale - in order to examine the ways in which these notions were influenced by the conflict as well as on the ways in which this influence is manifested on individual people. Attached to each play are short conclusions to their respective analyses. Despite their difference, the analyses of the plays also revealed several interesting similarities. Firstly, in the issue of gender, there is a certain discrepancy between the officially proclaimed and recognised division of gender roles and the reality of everyday life. Whereas officially the women are in an inferior position to men, and are expected to be an element of passivity, the three plays suggest that it is rather the men who represent passivity. The plays also point out how the position of men and women in society is further determined by the sectarian conflict. In all three plays, women prove to have stronger characters than men: in Tea in a...
Narrative strategies and the themes of Bildungsroman genre in Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy, Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes
Bindasová, Barbara ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee) ; Wallace, Clare (advisor)
The approach and use of Bildungsroman in the context of Irish contemporary literature is subject to lively development and invention on the behalf of the writers, thus offering an interesting and wide field of study for the literary criticism. This study of four representative works serves only as an introduction into the subject and does not, by far, cover the whole area. Nevertheless, Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy, Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Seamus Deane's Reading in the Dark and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes manage to cover and demonstrate the variety and richness of this genre in Irish literature. Each of the writers tackles the subject with distinctive innovation, each picking a different theme as the centre of their respective novels.
Words versus music: analysis of Samuel Beckett's "Words and Music", "Cascando" and "Rockbaby"
Fořtová, Linda ; Wallace, Clare (referee) ; Pilný, Ondřej (advisor)
It was my endeavour to demonstrate the manifold capacities of music with (or emanating from) a text. Indeed, I have proved that music is able to express what words cannot, and that there are many links between the verbal language and that of music, and thus both can be used in an interplay as it can be perceived in Cascando where Voice merges with Music in harmony and their arrangement constitutes a fugue; or both elements can challenge each other in an effort to ascertain which of them should be taken as superior to the other, as in Words and Music; or, even, that language freed of the customary syntactic chains is able to produce rhytmical patterns in accordance to what the words describe, as it is in Rockaby.
Psychological aspects of the gothic in Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's fiction
Procházková, Ilona ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee) ; Wallace, Clare (advisor)
What is usually understood by the term "Gothic" is the distant and rather obscure period of Middle Ages connoting severe wars, fortified inhospitable castles and the burning of witches. Apart from that, the word is very often used specifically to describe the architecture of this time. However, especially in an English cultural context this word gained a secondary meaning which is not completely unrelated to the first one and which is to a large extent connected with literature. Under the influence of Romanticism, the second half of the eighteenth century bears witness to extended interest in uncanny Gothic castles or ruins, forlorn scenery and other melancholy places, with even greater stress put on its mysterious, obscure and frightening aspects that finally resulted in something which may be called the Gothic revival. Victor Sage writes that, "'Gothic' could connote any of a wide range of overlapping senses: horrid, barbarous, superstitious, Tudor, Druid, English, German, and even Oriental."1 One of the primary goals of Gothic literature was to create strong emotion of fear or even horror. Among the most popular settings of its fiction belong gloomy ancient chambers, buildings with rich pasts, abandoned decaying mansions, graveyards and similar places which help to establish the right atmosphere for...
The development and style of Ossianic myth
Homolková, Šárka ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee) ; Procházka, Martin (advisor)
This thesis is mainly concerned with the development of the Fenian narratives about the adventures of Fion (later Finn or Fingal) and his war-band, the fian, as it was told by his son, the bard Oisín (later Ossian). The Fenian tales are unique in literary history because they have fascinated people for more than thousand years and are still being written. Since the 12th century when the first codex, The Book of Leinster, containing the first five stories about Finn mac Cumhaill and his fian appeared, hundreds of books with the same thematic saw the light of the world. Some are almost unknown today or even lost and others, on the other hand, became an inspiration for the whole era. The story about the hero Finn and his army of warriors was first written down in Ireland in the 13th century (according to other sources already in the 12th century) and was the main narrative of the Fenian cycle. However, the story itself is much older circulating as a part of oral tradition of Ireland and Scotland for centuries. The original story has changed immensely during the centuries due to its oral character. The same happened to the role of Finn and his troops of young warriors, the stories won on significance and become one of the major cycle of tales of Ireland and later Scotland. In the first story where one of the...
Movement and stagnation in Samuel Beckett's work
Kudrnová, Anna ; Wallace, Clare (referee) ; Pilný, Ondřej (advisor)
Upon encountering the dramas and shorter prosaic works of Samuel Beckett, the reader or spectator will probably soon notice, apart from other characteristic features, the exceptional number of characters that limp, have various foot defects and pains, have problems with locomotion and balance, or who are even legless. In other cases, external causes impede the protagonists from moving, as for example in the play Happy Days, where Winnie is stuck in a mound of earth. Incapability of movement and stagnation, whether voluntary or forced, does not appear merely on the physical level; hesitation, inability to decide or act despite an urge to do so are themes frequently occurring in Beckett's texts; when we think of these manifestations of impotence in abstract terms, we realise that they represent stagnation as well: the inability to progress from one situation to another, further from one attitude or mental state etc. The characters often experience the ancient dilemma of activity versus passivity in human life; in many cases, Beckett illustrates it on motion. Another level on which a certain form of immobility emerges is often the structure of a text; that is to say, the plot does not reach any conclusion; the situation presented therein, although usually close to unbearable, does not change, or becomes...
The Irish Peasant Novels of Emily Lawless Hurrish: A Study & Grania: The Story of an Island
Bonnerová, Kateřina ; Wallace, Clare (advisor) ; Pilný, Ondřej (referee)
The Anglo-Irish writer, Emily Lawless (1845 - 1913), has not, in the period following her death, been a very well-known, or widely appreciated, author. At the end of the 19th century though, she was popular with the English reading public, mainly because of her two contemporary Irish peasant novels, Hurrish: A Study and Grania: The Story of an Island, in which she managed to awaken English society to the plight of the impoverished Irish peasant. As Emily Lawless has not been widely studied nor written about only until recently, my access to resources, both primary and secondary, is very much limited. For this reason, I was able to acquire only one of the novels (Hurrish) as a printed publication, while the other novel Grania was available to me only in an electronic version. While William Linn's dissertation "The Life and Works of the Hon. Emily Lawless, First Novelist of the Irish Literary Revival" has been a valuable source of all the details of Lawless's biography and writings in general, the critical articles have been only a few. These include the 1980s first critical "appreciations" after years of neglect, by Elizabeth Grubgeld and Betty Webb Brewer, and more recent essays of James Cahalan, Jacqueline Belanger and Heidi Hansson. This thesis will attempt to introduce the writer in terms of life...
McDonaghland as a global village
Konárková, Michaela ; Pilný, Ondřej (advisor) ; Armand, Louis (referee)
The objective of this e-ssay is to explore various possible perspectives -of looking at Martin McDonagh's work. The author of so far six extremely successful plays premiered between the years 1996-2003 has engaged much critical attention as belonging both to the British and Irish theatrical context. However, another important circumstance of his work is that of the globalized, supranational context. I would like to prove that it is in this context where the parodic strategy of his plays is most powerful. The theoretical background of this thesis is represented by Marshall McLuhan's book War and Peace in the Global Village, Zygmun-d- Bauman's book Globalizatio~d Linda Hutcheon's/oetics of Postmodernism.

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